Dear Love

Dear Love, image of magnolia, photo credit: Sandi Amorim

Dear Love,

I’m happiest when you show up unexpectedly, on a day like today, when I felt I had no love left to give. My resistance was high, which is silly, I know… but that’s the truth, love.

I resist to avoid rejection and hurt. It’s easier to build a wall and close myself off to you, until I remember that safety has never been my thing… not really.

It’s irrational, this need to armour up; a kind of temporary insanity that is just too great a burden.

Then somehow, on a day like today, you sneak in through a crack in the wall, surprise me with the depth and magic of your presence, and once again I surrender.

xo

Sandi Amorim signature

Print

Every April, I celebrate my birth month
Every April, I celebrate my birth month
by taking part in Susannah Conway’s April Love.

 

 

We Must Move Into Love

“To transcend fear we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We must move into love, and in doing so we make it an active choice rather than an intellectual one.

We’ve heard the call to choose love over fear.

Has it worked for you? Because I’ll admit I’m starting to get that choosing isn’t enough.

And so I did, mostly because I pride myself on walking my talk, but also because I reached out and asked for help.

Some time ago, I began thinking about shooting video, but every time I thought of it my entire being clenched, gripped by the fear of putting myself out there in a new way.

It felt dangerous and vulnerable.

I let myself feel the fear, and I even began to question it, examining it from various angles.

One day I found myself reaching out and asking a friend for support. He was brilliant in that he didn’t just give me advice on how to make videos.  He showed up on my doorstep with his equipment and proceeded to record our conversation for two hours.

Two hours of facing my fear, and moving into love.

Two hours of talking about love and fear and freedom, and other topics I’m passionate about.

At some point I realized I’d almost forgotten about the cameras I was so into our conversation.

I realized that love and fear can’t coexist.

We can never feel them at the same time. It’s impossible.

I realized that choosing love is only the first step.

Moving into love must follow, an ongoing practice that breathes life into us when we most need it.

In saying yes to doing the video, I chose love over fear.

In sharing it here with you, I move into love once again.

Because to keep this to myself goes against how I want to live my life.

I want you to get, just like I did, that I’m OK exactly the way I am.

If I want to help others reclaim their freedom, I have to make the move into love, over and over and over again.

It’s not a one-time thing.

And I am reminded of Marianne Williamson’s prayer,

Dear God,

Help me today to choose love over fear, that I might work miracles for myself and others. Where I am tempted to attack or defend, please guide my mind to a gentler place.

Amen.  

Choose love, and have it be that simple.

Crush your fear.

Become fearless.

An inspiring rallying cry in the personal development world.

Or is it?

Does it really motivate you to hear “be fearless,” when time after time your dreams and desires are shut down by fear? Or does the call to fearlessness leave you in doubt that you could ever be that bold?

Just because we hear something a lot doesn’t make it right or true, or even helpful. That it is believed and widespread doesn’t make it useful or effective in the reality of day-to-day living.

Because the truth I’ve learned is that becoming fearless isn’t the point; nor is mastering your fear.

That’s just ego talking, doing it’s best to stop you.

Fear has its uses – survival for one – and it keeps us from doing stupid things, but the thing we don’t often hear is that fear can even lead you to a positive outcome.

What if leaning into your fear is what sets you free? 

Hard to believe? Challenging your beliefs? Stay with me.

When I launched my business almost 15 years ago, I was afraid.

When I got married after heartbreak in my first relationship, I was terrified.

When I learned how to scuba dive, I was so scared I could hardly breathe.

When I faced a video camera for the first time? Heart-racing, deer-in-headlights fear.

I was wracked with fear every single time.

I certainly didn’t ‘crush it’ or eliminate fear from my life. Instead, I tested it, leaning in to see where it would lead me.

That video recording I mentioned?

Yeah, that happened recently, and I can still hardly believe I did it.

For some time, I’ve thought of doing video, every time coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me.

I’m not a video person.
I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera.
I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.

A few my logical reasons for saying no.

Then I asked myself what was choosing to say no – love or fear?

Fear – deep and dark – a fear of being seen in a new way. Exposed. Vulnerable. I wanted to run and hide, get away from my discomfort.

So I did the opposite, leaning into it as far as I could. And the most amazing thing happened.

Love showed up and said yes.

Choose Love: photo credit - Sandi Amorim

Love for my work, and connecting to people.

Love for the friend who offered to record my first video, and help me face my fear.

Love for myself, and my desire to keep growing and stretching beyond what I think is possible.

I chose love, and it said yes.

Two hours flew by while we talked about life, and vulnerability, and why the general advice to be fearless is fucked. I talked about how scared I was to do this with him.

Two hours of recording that showed me that being afraid and being filmed (or being afraid while being filmed) was something I could lean into rather than avoid.

Instead of crushing fear, I chose love.

Can it be that simple?

Yes.

Simple, and not always easy, but I’m willing to practice.

Choose love, and have it be that simple.

 

p.s. Video to come, so stay tuned.

 

On Devotion & Walking the Path

de·vo·tion 

(n) profound dedication; consecration; dedicate by a vow, promise solemnly

Visakha Bucha (Vesak) 4, Siam Square, Bangkok, Bangkok

What are you devoted to?

“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Mitch Albom

Devotion has been on my mind and in my heart as I lead the 100 Day Promise.

Devotion as a Way of Living & Loving

I love the idea of devotion, but as a way of life it seems altruistic and out of reach.

Women are generally conditioned to take care of others, but it often comes with a feeling of obligation or responsibility.

What might happen if we shifted from taking care of others to being devoted?

Mother Meera comes to mind; a woman believed to be the embodiment of the Divine Mother on earth.

And I wonder,

From her site,

“Mother Meera has no interest in conversion or in changing anyone’s faith or creed. This is simply irrelevant for her.  She is simply a Divine Mother for everyone who turns to Her. “

Insight: The difference between being devoted to something and giving up your life is perspective. Create a context that’s worth showing up for every day and you’ll give up nothing.

favicon

Devotion as the Foundation of Community

When we come from the heart life is simple; come from the head and things get complicated.

It’s easy to fixate on the minutiae and complexity of daily life, but devotion can’t exist in that space.

Devotion demands getting out of your head.

The best communities I’ve experienced thrive in simplicity and clarity of focus. Usually that’s because they’re devoted to an empowering mission. They may not use the language of devotion, but they are single-minded about their vision and what they’re here for.

Like electricity, the Light is everywhere, but one must know how to activate it. I have come for that.” – Mother Meera

Insight: When you devote yourself to a cause, make a vow or promise, you make space for clear actions that come from the heart.

favicon

Devotion as the Path to Purpose & Meaning 

This is what life is about. Creating something out of nothing, leaving a piece of yourself in the process; a legacy that lives beyond your existence.

Where does purpose and meaning come from?

It’s not out there somewhere waiting to be found. True purpose comes from within.

Insight: If you make a promise to yourself to live the way you want to live, devoted to a purpose of your creation, your reasons and circumstances for why you can’t do what you want disappear.

favicon

Devotion as an Act of Creation

My own 100 Day Promise began as a practice of writing every day, but it became clear very quickly that I needed more than a commitment.

When I began to see my writing practice as a devotion to the act of creating, my resistance fell away, and I was left with space. In that space my writing flourished, words and ideas flew from my mind to my fingertips in abundance.

Insight: The context you create makes a dramatic difference to how you show up. Giving my writing the context of devotion changed it from something I told myself I should do every day to a practice that has ignited my creativity.

“Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” – Nicholas Sparks

favicon

Devotion as Ritual

Even tasks of our choosing become repetitive if we’re not present and mindful. 

But when we bring ritual to the doing, the energy of the act changes to one of ceremony.

What might devotion as ritual look like?

When I began experimenting with this, I found that auditory rituals were important to me and I found myself drawn to chanting and mantras. I love how Sanskrit mantras sound and how they make me feel, connecting me more deeply to how I want to feel in my life – cherished, sacred, free. 

My initial curiousity became a daily practice, a way of starting each day intimately connected to myself.

Insight: When you find the right practices – the ones that resonate with your soul – routine becomes ritual, and  repetition turns into devotion.

favicon

Devotion as a way of living.

This path is one of integrating what I love and what I’m devoted to with my everyday life and ordinary activities.

Because everything offers an opportunity for devotion.

 

 

Let’s Talk About Love

 

Blinded, statue at Fraserview Cemetery, Vancouver, BC

It’s easy to love the sun.

It rises each day and generously shares its light and warmth. It literally brightens our days, wanting nothing in return.

So easy to love.

It’s less easy to love another.

For they are not nearly as reliable or generous as the sun. They come with feelings and expectations and needs. Often demanding, it’s a wonder we love them, but we do.

We do so love to love.

It’s not that easy to love yourself. 

This is the greatest of loves, for it informs the rest, and yet…it’s often the love we’re most challenged by.

Imagine this love.

This great love that has been with you since the beginning. Maybe it was suppressed long ago, tucked way back in the recesses of your heart.

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.” – Ayn Rand

But this love is still there, longing to be expressed.

I know this is true.

You are here longing to hear the whispers of your heart, yearning to feel the “I”.

So, let’s talk about love, and create the foundation of a new reality.

 

A Love Affair with Yourself

 

Imagine a love affair with yourself…

“Suddenly, and for the first time, she was at the center of her own life, living it and loving it.” – Mary Balogh

You, at the centre,
a full-blown love affair with yourself.

That luscious, heady feeling…all for you.

Murmured words of love,
a tender gaze…just for you.

Imagine…

“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair.” – Ray Bradbury

For now, give your intellect a rest.

Listen only to your heart,
let it bask in your fullest attention.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Your soul yearns
to be acknowledged,

a willing lover
whispering,
waiting for your embrace.

Wrap your arms around it.
And hold on for dear life.

Fire burns in your belly.

Your most desired feelings,
like lava, burning to flow freely.

Unleash their fullest expression.

Goddess sculpture, head back, arms up and open

Look back and remember.
There have been times you knew this love.

See it, hear it, feel it,
in that deepest part of you. . .
no one ever sees.

“Love affairs, in their beginnings, are all about the present.” – Kate Morton

The present, a most precious gift.

Breathe it in like a lover’s scent.
Not yesterday, not tomorrow,

only now.

And take heart

“Courage Is a Love Affair with the Unknown” – Osho

Trust that you are up to the task.

 

You Are Beyond Compare

 

Hand holding heart shaped rock

Dear One,

As the new year begins, it seems you need a reminder of how truly awesome you are.

Maybe you got caught up in the new year’s hype, and fell prey to comparisonitis.

But you (and you’ve really got to get this) are beyond comparison.

Your heart and courage inspire, and not a day goes by that someone isn’t touched by you.

Listen. . .

and hear the truth of these words.

You are beyond compare.

You care about people, and share yourself generously, and when you love you do so wholeheartedly. It is  truly a masterful part of your being.

And people respond.

Yes, they always do and tell you so often. So much love coming to you every day, and sometimes you don’t notice it at all.

I’m writing these words to remind you.

You are awesome and you are loved.

xo

Sandi Amorim signature

 

An Ode to the Heart

 

glass hearts

For most of my life, I’ve paid far more attention to my head than my heart. I’ve heard enough stories to know I’m not alone in this.

It’s puzzling really, for my head, on its endless quest for logic and knowledge, has all too often led me astray.

It’s been distracted, and even dazzled by facts, figures, reasons; all requirements in the heady world.

My heart however, has been treated like Cinderella – ignored, occasionally mocked,  and left behind to tend to itself.

It took my heart being broken (but not really) to change this sad state of affairs.

It took getting quiet enough to hear it.

For the truth is, I didn’t know until then that I wasn’t hearing it (picture an ignorance is bliss scenario.)

My heart has taught me to be grateful for those years of sadness.

They helped me grow, and got me in touch with what was really important in my life.

Seems my heart knew all along what that was.

My heart has worked hard on my behalf for little recognition, until today. Until I asked the following question. . .

Continue reading

An Ode to Love

Love.

Love.

It makes the world go round.

Sometimes I wonder, does it really?

I started looking. . .

Looking for love in all the right places you could say.

Here’s what I found.

word LOVE sidewalk graffitti

Love – rock solid like the concrete on which this graffiti was spray painted.

“Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” – Ursula K. LeGuin

Love Me Tender name on boat

Love – days of smooth sailing along side days of stormy weather.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” – Nicholas Sparks 

glass hearts

Love – fragile in its beauty, long-lasting when cared for.

“i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)” – e. e. cummings 

I love you graffiti on brick wall

Love – messy and uncontrolled.

“Where there is love there is life.” – Gandhi 

rocks on sand in shape of heart

Love – publicly displayed, vulnerable to the elements.

“One love, one heart, one destiny.” – Bob Marley

Stop.

Right now…look around your world.

When you look for love, what do you see?

 

Leaning Out

Juliet's balcony

I used to live in a loft in a hip part of town. Too hip for me I sometimes thought.

The loft had a European style balcony; not really a balcony at all but rather a railing just beyond the door with maybe a foot of standing room.

The year I lived there was one of the most challenging of my life.

My business which had started off strong was struggling; my confidence diminishing daily. And the root of it all was a story.

A story that, over time, became a touchstone worn smooth in my pocket. Sometimes I would finger it lovingly, speaking it aloud like a mantra. Other times I’d bring it out into the light, examining it from every angle.

Once in awhile, the story would keep me from sleep, and I would write. Pages and pages of story. With each telling it became more detailed, more real, more damaging to both my mind and my heart.

One part of me knew the story was a lie. But I hung onto it like a drowning man to a life preserver.

Why would I do that?

The story had ceased to be a story.

The story had become the truth.

Continue reading